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2 minutes reading time (405 words)

Let’s Talk About Guns

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In the aftermath of the February 14, 2018, school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the gun control debate - specifically, the debate on whether the average American should have access to AR-15 assault rifles - was revived after months of virtual silence. While my opponent, Rep. Michael Burgess, has said he is "deeply saddened" by the attack in Parkland, he has earned an A rating from the National Rifle Association, and sources say he has accepted anywhere from $16,000 to $19,000 from the organization.

On a recent appearance on MSNBC, Burgess had a somewhat heated exchange with host Ari Melber on the topic of the second amendment. When asked by Melber why it was so important for Burgess that Americans maintain access to assault rifles like the AR-15 used in the Parkland attack, Burgess replied "there is a second amendment."

It's clear that politicians like Burgess are holding firmly to their position that average Americans should have access to military-grade weapons like the AR-15. Even President Trump has shown some signs of softening his position on guns, hinting that he may be open to raising the legal age to purchase AR-15s, as well as possibly expanding background checks and even enabling the override of due process to take guns away from persons deemed mentally ill or who are identified as a potential danger. But while some conservatives are aligning with Burgess, many, like Trump, are starting to see the light: that sensible gun control may not be so terrible after all.

So, what is the answer here? It's certainly not to ban guns, but it should be to ban bump stocks, the devices that allow gun owners to modify their semi-automatic rifle into a fully automatic machine gun, much like the shooter did in Florida last month. Banning bump stocks shouldn't be a partisan issue, either - after all, people on both sides of the political spectrum have children as well as own guns.

We all have something at stake in this debate, and we need to work together to find a solution before another parent must bury another child whose only "crime" was getting up and going to school that morning.

If I am elected as your representative, I will do my best to help create sensible gun legislation that allows gun owners to keep their second amendment rights, but that prevents workarounds like bump stocks from falling into the wrong hands.

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Thursday, 21 June 2018

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